Avoiding the Yacht Job Scam

A recent rise in fake yachting job ads has been reported, with individuals falling foul of the scamming trickster.  In particular, Facebook have seen a rise in ad scams, where so-called employers invite men or women to attend interviews for jobs that don’t even exist.

Whether it’s for the purposes of getting hold of your personal documentation for identity fraud, money or something more sinister, we want you to be warned, be smart and stay safe.

Here’s Yotspot’s Top 10 Tips for what to look out for and how to avoid getting scammed:

  1. If you’ve agreed to meet a yacht captain, owner or recruiter, make sure you meet in a public place in daylight hours.
  2. It should be obvious but please tell a friend or colleague where and when your interview is and who you’re meeting.
  3. Make sure you have a Seafarers’ Employment Agreement – The MLC (Maritime Labour Convention) requires that each Flag State has a clearly written and legally enforceable contract called the Seafarers’ Employment Agreement (SEA) for every single crewmember.
  4. WARNING: If there’s no contract it’s more than likely there’s no job!
  5. Do not part with any personal information (eg: Passport, Drivers Licence etc)
  6. Do not part with any money – a recruiter or employer will not ask you for money to find you a job, even if they say it’s for training, insurance or to doctor your CV. It’s likely to be a scam!
  7. Whether the job is miles away or not, do your own research on the vessel in question, look up Facebook groups – ask around online within the industry – it’s a small world.

Just as an aside, there may be a chance the employer/recruiter may be keeping the yacht name quiet for now, for the sake of privacy, but you can still ask around on Facebook amongst yachting communities.

  1. Sign up to a third-party jobs board like Yotspot for added protection. Your personal information is secured behind a payment gateway reducing the risk of dealing with a fraudster. That way you remain in control of how and when your information is shared and with whom.
  2. Check out whether the job meets the MCA’s (Maritime & Coastguard Agency) standardisation – their purpose is to ensure there’s a fair contract agreement in place for both candidate and employer.
  3. Check out your contact’s email address. If he or she is a professional yacht captain it’s likely they will have a genuine yacht or recruiter email address, like wise look up their website to verify they are who they say they are. If there’s no website, they may not be legit.

What to do next?  If you suspect a scam, stop all communication with your contact immediately and report them to the local authorities.  We recommend you follow up with the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) for guidance, so they can share information with the wider yachting industry, making others aware.

The Yotspot team are here to help so if you’re not sure whether a job is legit or not, just get in touch we’re happy to check it out for you. Email enquiries@yotspot.com